Alibaba Group has established its first physical presence in Australia, launching an on office in Melbourne that will support local businesses peddling their wares on its online marketplaces.
The Chinese e-commerce giant said the new office would serve as the headquarters for its operators in Australia and New Zealand, where more than 1,000 brick-and-mortar stores currently accepted payments through its payment app, Alipay.
Headed by ANZ managing director, Maggie Zhou, the Melbourne site also would support 1,300 Australian and 400 New Zealand businesses that sold products on Alibaba's online marketplaces, Tmall and Tmall Global.
Zhou said: "A physical Alibaba headquarters is a key step in ensuring Australian businesses have the support and information they need to succeed in China and the rest of the world."
She added that the Chinese company would be looking to beef up the necessary infrastructure to facilitate this, encompassing cloud computing, online payments, and logistics. Alibaba in November opened its Sydney cloud data centre, one of four such facilities launched last year as part of a US$1 billion investment to boost its global cloud footprint.
It also signed an agreement this week to expand its partnership with Australia Post. This would extend the state-run postal operator's services into Southeast Asia's e-commerce market through Singapore-basedLazada Group, which Alibaba acquired last April.
The agreement would see Australia Post working with the Chinese vendor's logistics business, Cainiao Network, to enhance data integration and develop a "co-branded, cross-border delivery service" for parcels moving from Australia to China. Australia Post in 2014 established a storefront on Tmall Global touting products from Australian small and midsize businesses to Chinese consumers. The postal service provided the logistical support to fulfil orders to China.
According to Alibaba, its global B2B website had been operating in Australia since 1999. Pilot online stores also were expected to be introduced in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia later this year.
Alibaba had first unveiled plans to set up the Melbourne office last July, when it launched an online wholesale platform for Australian products in China selling various Australian goods such as milk powder, honey, wine, and health supplements. Australian supermart chain Woolworths as well as healthcare brand Blackmores also began selling their products on Tmall Global.
Alibaba sets up world's first 'big data anti-fake alliance'
Initiated by China's e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, the world's first alliance to fight fakes using big data was launched in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province on Jan. 16. The first 20 members issued a joint action plan to cut down on counterfeit products.
According to Zheng Junfang, Alibaba's chief platform governance officer, the traditional way of cracking down on fake goods offline does not remove the source of copycat products.
"We have to have everybody involved and work together to do it," Zheng announced. Alibaba is willing to share its experience, skills, technology and resources with people all around the work in the anti-counterfeit battle, she said.
Only invited brands can join the alliance, and membership is limited to 20. The first batch of members include Dulux, LV, Swarovski, Trendy Group, DAZZLE, Shiseido, Bioderma, Amway, Mars, Pernod Ricard, Huawei, SUPOR, Joyoung, Sony, Samsung, Western Digital (Western Digital and SanDisk), Canon and Ford. Alibaba has long cooperated on anti-counterfeiting initiatives. By the end of 2016, the company had cooperated with more than 18, 000 brands to fight against fake goods.
A Huawei manager pointed out that by using big data, Alibaba is playing a leading role in anti-counterfeiting efforts.
"We are fully expecting an IPR protection blueprint outlined by the big data anti-fake alliance," the manager said.
Zheng made four promises at the launch of the campaign: continue to provide data and technology support, promote cooperation on anti-counterfeiting efforts, provide priority service for alliance members, and invite alliance members to work on policy-making and amendments.
The establishment of the anti-fake alliance is only the first step. Alibaba will use big data to build anti-counterfeiting tools and consolidate social consensus, regularly releasing reports on anti-counterfeiting efforts.
Alibaba to help Thailand's e-commerce development
China's e-commerce giant Alibaba Thursday signed several agreements with Thailand's Ministry of Commerce to help the southeastern Asian country develop e-commerce.
The deals were signed as Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak headed a delegation to visit Alibaba's headquarters in Hangzhou.
Alibaba will help small and medium-sized Thai firms expand businesses on local and international e-commerce sites, according to the deals. It will also train Thai government officials on big data and artificial intelligence.
Alibaba will help Thailand develop an efficient logistics system and explore cooperation opportunities in Thailand's eastern economic corridor.
Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba, said Thailand can create its own digital economic miracle by embracing new technology and helping its young people to develop the new economy.
In August 2015, Thailand launched a store on Alibaba's Tmall.com to sell its home brands. In November this year, Alibaba's financial affiliate Ant Financial announced a strategic investment in Thailand's payment firm Ascend Money, seeking to use its payment technology to serve more than half of Thai netizens.